A national provider of plastic injection molding services

Blog

Plastic Injection Molding or Additive Manufacturing?

by Administrator4. January 2017 15:10

 

As a plastic injection molder, it surprised many when we entered the additive manufacturing industry with the creation of rp+m in 2012.  Why would we entertain the thought of starting a company whose industry was considered a direct threat to plastic injection molding? Simple, we believed that this technology would pair well with injection molding.

While the two technologies may be complimentary, there are still times when one will be a better choice. 

COST:

Plastic injection molding is the most popular method to make plastic parts. One reason is cost. If you need thousands of parts produced annually, plastic injection molding would be the most cost effective, even when factoring in the tooling. While a tool will cost thousands of dollars, the actual piece price for the part may run as low as a few cents (if a very small part made of a common polymer). Even small parts produced via additive manufacturing will cost tens of dollars per part – price for thousands of parts and you will quickly match the cost of plastic injection molding.

If you need a small plastic part made but only need a few of them – additive manufacturing is your better choice. When only a few parts are needed the cost for tooling in plastic injection molding is prohibitive. Additive manufacturing is the better choice for lower part quantities.

DESIGN ITERATIONS:

Sometimes you have a part design that isn’t quite there but you need to know where exactly the issues might be with the part. Additive manufacturing is your best choice. Your CAD design can be uploaded and the part made in hours. You can then have your part in-hand to review and decide what changes need to be made to the design.

TIME:

The time it takes to make your parts truly depends on the size and number of parts you need. If you need just a handful of parts, additive manufacturing is absolutely the most efficient choice to produce the parts. If thousands of parts are needed throughout the year, then plastic injection molding is your best choice when mass-producing.

QUALITY:

While there have been great strides in additive manufacturing to create high quality parts, injection molding can produce a part that typically has a better appearance to it and can be made with various surface finishes (including in-mold labeling and diamond-finishes).

 

                   

Complexity in design with 3D printing  

 

          

 Overmolding and high gloss finish with injection molding                                 

 

 

 

 

 

Even four years later we firmly believe that plastic injection molding and additive manufacturing are complementary technologies that can exist on their own or work together. If you have a part design but want to have the opportunity for design iterations before committing, you could have the part made via 3D printing and oncethe design is confirmed, then move forward to mass-production via injection molding. We are very excited to see what the next stages will be with additive manufacturing and how it will continue to work with plastic injection molding.

Accelerating Cleveland’s Growth

by Caroline1. December 2015 07:25

 

On Thursday, November 19, President and CEO of Thogus Matt Hlavin joined Mark Avsec, Vice-Chair of the Innovations, Information Technology and Intellectual Property Practice Group at Benesch and Rick Pollack, president of MakerGear at the Association of Corporate Growth (ACG) event regarding the 3D Printing Revolution. In keeping with the ACG theme for the year, “Accelerating Cleveland’s Growth,” ACG designed a panel discussion around 3D printing technology, its uses and limitations, and the legal implications surrounding it now and what may be coming down the road. 

 

The evening began with both Thogus and MakerGear greeting guests at tables where guests could touch, feel and see how 3D printing works, and how it can be applied to the commercial space.

 

The panel discussion was orchestrated in such a way that guests began their journey learning about Rick Pollack’s motivation for starting his company MakerGear and how he had designed his system to really help the professional consumer, or “prosumer”, start to propagate their ideas for validation and/or commercialization. Rick’s units sell into all 50 states and he struggles to keep up with demand. But, he stressed the importance that his technology is not your kitchen counter unit for anyone – you need to have the skills to operate the same programs an individual would need to run a traditional CNC machine.

 

ACG Panel Discussion

From MakerGear, the discussion transitioned to Matt Hlavin, President and CEO of Thogus Products Company. Matt shared a video on Advanced Manufacturing that demonstrates the transformation of traditional manufacturing through the use of 3D printing. Matt shared his insights on 3D-printing that stem from the company’s original investment in additive manufacturing back in 2009 to today. He elaborated on how the technology has not only allowed him to experiment with the technology and how it integrates into traditional manufacturing at Thogus, but to also create a stand-alone company to focus on a full-service offering of additive services from prototyping to development to rapid manufacturing. 

 

Committing to additive manufacturing has also allowed Thogus to expand its capabilities to traditional manufacturing companies, while attracting top talent into the industry. Matt elaborated on the limitations that have yet to be overcome – material development and availability, in-process quality monitoring, and repeatability. When asked if the technology would every replace CNC – Matt made it clear that it isn’t one technology or the other, but it is a choice as to what is the right technology for the application. Matt’s final comments with regards to all of this, were that this is not a 3D Revolution, but really should be seen as an Evolution. We will continue to learn how to leverage this technology, apply it in ways we can’t yet envision, and the industry will have to learn how to collaborate and adapt to allow us to fully realize its potential.

 

This played really well into Mark Avsec’s position on IP protection and IP law with regards to this evolution. From Mark’s experience in music in his early career, he was able to draw strong connection with what happened in the music industry to what is happening in the manufacturing/additive space. From his view, 3D printing technology will transform the way companies conduct business, affecting manufacturing processes and disrupting the supply chain, with substantial implications for intellectual property. This topic brought to light a whole new perspective for the audience on the implications of investments and the concerns with managing how these technologies are shared or accessed. File sharing for printing is a huge part of how information is exchanged for 3D, and with the availability of 3D scanners it is easier more than ever to knock off someone’s IP and manufacture it yourself. Kitchen counter consumers are not the concern necessarily, but individuals or companies with access to a critical mass or channel to market do need to be monitored. Caterpillar was a highlighted example. Caterpillar currently has 3D printers in-house that are used to manufacture spare parts. They are considering allowing these printers to be set up at distributors, but how will they control the use of their IP around their part design. How do you ensure brand integrity once it is release? Liability issues?

 

 

The guests had many questions that continued the discussion until almost 7pm. Most of these questions centered on the workforce and how these companies make money.


We are very excited to have participated in this event, and we will continue to talk about of how additive manufacturing is beneficial to a variety of manufacturers and not detrimental. These technologies can create a symbiotic relationship that is mutually beneficial to each other.

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Attorney General, Mike DeWine, visits Thogus and it's family of companies

by Administrator4. February 2015 13:53

Yesterday Mike DeWine, Ohio's Attorney General, made a special stop at Thogus and it's family of companies to learn more about Manufacturing that is happening right here in Northeast Ohio.   Our sister company, rp+m , was able to educate Mr. DeWine and his team on additive manufacturing and our technology platforms. 

 

"We love having visitors like Mike tour our company, because they are interested in learning more about manufacturing.  It's becoming sexy again and Thogus, rp+m and JALEX are at the forefront of it," states Matt Hlavin, CEO of  Thogus, rp+m and JALEX Medical.   "Not only was he able to see all of the technology we have invested in on our mass production floor, but he was also able to learn about the metals and polymer 3D Printing platforms we have.  We were able to show Mike how we have grown from a traditional manufacturing company into an advanced manufacturing company!"

Tags: , , ,

Manufacturing

How Many Meals Did The Avon Lake Food Fight Raise For Second Harvest?

by Dana Foster12. December 2013 13:32

Yesterday, Thogus had the revealing event of the total number of meals raised during the Second Harvest Avon Lake Food Fight.  For the second year in a row, Avon Lake companies participated in a friendly competition on raising meals for Second Harvest.  Both the overall number of meals raised and the top company was announced.  The top company received a 3D printed trophy! Click here to read the results in The Morning Journal article.   

Tags: , , , , , ,

3D Print Your Furniture

by Dana Foster26. April 2013 10:00

 

3D Printing furniture has become the new trend, because you can make any shape and size to fit the room where the piece will reside perfectly. Here at rp+m we have had opportunities to print furniture that are modern and speak to the culture of the business. Below are pictures of signs, tables legs and shelves we have created. rp+m also has the capabilities to sand and paint. If you would like to customize your office furniture or hear more about 3D Printing in general, contact info@rpplusm.com.

Sign we printed and painted:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table Legs:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shelving:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written By: Dana Foster, Marketing Manager

 

 

 


Tags: , ,

3D Printing

Month List